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In marketing your products and services you have the power to make or break trust. The reality is you are doing most of it inadvertently.
Imagine if you could actually build trust deliberately with your target market? Here are 7 key things that you need to know about trust:
1. Marketing is a maker or breaker of trust
Trust is fundamentally our ability to rely on people, organisations, products and/or services to deliver an outcome to us.
Marketing creates Expectations in the minds of the market, taps into their Needs, and makes a heap of Promises both implicitly and explicitly. It’s on these three things, what I call ENPs®, that your customers trust. It’s what they rely on.
Meet ENPs and you have their trust. Break them and you lose their trust.
2. Their Expectations of you may have nothing to do with you.
Expectations come from lots of different places. While you can use your marketing to create Expectations, if you are in an industry that gets hammered in the media (eg Banking), they already have Expectations of you that have nothing to do with you and everything to do with what other people tell them.
3. You must know your market’s needs
Your market has basic Needs for survival, for safety and security, for love and belonging, for esteem and respect, and for creativity and freedom. Good old Maslow1 is hard to go by when we look at Needs, and marketers are aware of these.
Most people are driven by one core Need in most of their buying and relationship decisions across the board.
Know what your market’s Needs are, and meet them.
4. Your implicit Promises will catch you out
You make a lot of Promises in your marketing. Promises can be explicit or implicit. The explicit ones are usually the ones that everyone knows about, and that your organisation will, most times, back you up on.
But the implicit, suggested ones, like ‘everyone smiles in our store’ (because on the ad everyone looks friendly and happy), are the ones that catch you out.
When your customers or potential customers don’t experience what was implied to them, they don’t even bother complaining, but they don’t buy, either!
5. You cannot do it alone
Too many times I’ve seen great marketing and branding fall flat because the rest of the organisation didn’t back it up. ‘We put weeks into that campaign. We had a significant increase in enquiries, but *&%$# customer service let us down.’
You have to all work together. The customer doesn’t care who in the organisation was to blame. You’ve just broken their trust.
Work with sales, back office, customer service, whoever needs to deliver on the ENPs you’ve just put out to the market.
6. ENPs = ROI
Meet the Expectations and Needs of your market, and keep the Promises you make to them and you WILL improve your ROI. It IS as simple as that!
7. You must have trust if you’re going to extend your brand
Seriously, don’t even bother trying to create a brand extension if you have not secured the trust of your market. When your customers truly trust you, they’ll buy it without too much convincing (as long as you still meet their ENPs). You don’t have to spend as much on your marketing if you have their trust.
Trust is powerful, but it’s also fragile. Get it right, and enjoy the results!
Vanessa Hall is one of the world’s leading experts on trust. Her practical models for trust are gaining global acclaim. She’s as passionate as they come, loves speaking and writing about trust, but most of all, loves watching the amazing results her work has on organisations, individuals and communities around the world.
The truth about trust in business – How to enrich the bottom line, improve retention and build valuable relationships for success is available now in the US.
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